05 July 2020

Can the PAP run on its Covid-19 performance and plans in a Covid-19 election?

What should this year's elections be about?

Singapore's general election campaign seasons tend to follow a general pattern: An initial period of free-for-all debates between the parties on all issues before the ruling People's Action Party leaders announce at the mid-point what issue or message the general election should hinge on. This is the main issue its challengers should engage them on, and the lens through which Singapore's responsible mainstream newspapers should refract and colour their daily election reporting and analysis. Strange as it sounds, this is how elections work in Singapore.

This year, the PAP appears to have made Covid-19 the central issue for the rest of the campaign period, challenging opposition parties to unveil their plans for the Covid-19 recovery. Is this a blunder that could snatch a PAP defeat from the jaws of victory, as opposed to the brilliant message that snatched a PAP victory from the jaws of defeat in 2015?

"Not all the statesman's power or art
could turn aside Death's certain dart"
Illustration by Thomas Rowlandson, in The English Dance of Death, 1816

03 July 2020

Modelling the 2020 Singapore General Election

Will this be a game of chess, or a game of twister?
Choose wisely when you play with Death!

When its prime minister Lee Hsien Loong called for parliament to be dissolved on 23 June 2020 for snap polls, Singapore joined an exclusive club of nations holding national elections during the global pandemic. South Korea's ruling Minjoo Party won its snap polls easily and even extended its majority in parliament. Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen was handily reelected in its presidential polls. Will Singapore's People's Action Party do the same? Is it checkmate and a total wipeout for Singapore's opposition, which held just 6 seats out of 89 after the 2015 election?